Proposing a Talk for !!Con

2014-03-09

I am writing a proposal for a 10 minute “lightning talk” at !!Con. I feel like this is a relatively normal thing that shouldn’t warrant any special writing. But there are a couple of things that make it a very standout thing for me.

  1. It is in New York. Dee is super excited about the possibility of visiting New York. I’ve never been before. What an excellent excuse to go visit!

  2. I have never publicly spoken. I get nervous in groups larger than around 10 people, and I suspect !!Con will be far larger than that. Still, it’s something I’ve been interested in doing for years!

  3. I get to formalize my thinking on any topic of my interest. I’m in the process of doing this now - jotting down ideas, trying to tease out the common threads and ultimately just writing a focused, interesting talk. I’ll try to use funny pictures, too.

I found out about this whole thing because I follow @b0rk on Twitter and she re-tweeted a post from @bangbangcon. This is exactly the kind of thing I wanted to happen as a result of re-joining Twitter and more carefully curating my public persona!

This only started partway through Friday. I was able to spend some time on Friday jotting down ideas and just beginning to extract the connective bits - the meat of my jumbled thoughts. For the first time I also thought that mind-mapping software might be useful. I’m leaning towards XMind for the very scientific reason that it looks visually nicer than some alternatives. FreeMind also looks reasonable. But I haven’t actually tried any of those out yet. I’m still sticking to the tried-and-true pen+paper method for now. I’ll probably have to move from my 5x7” notebook to the full-size 11x14 sketchbook, though.

The subject matter I’m exploring right now is in the hierarchy of concurrency and abstractions. I cover a lot of material in those two uber categories. Right now I’m working on distilling, re-distilling and distilling some more. 10 Minutes! It’s not that long! It’s far better to have a very tight, focused talk than a rambly, jumbled mess of ideas.